From left to right, Redmond High’s 200-yard medley relay team of freshman Michelle Chen (backstroke), sophomore Catherine Yu (breaststroke), sophomore Andrea Wu (butterfly) and senior captain Jamesyn Gray (freestyle) splashed into their first meet of the season on Sept. 19 with a state-qualifying time of 1:52.52 (the WIAA automatic state-qualifying time is 1:53.50). Yu also qualified for state in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:11.68. Redmond defeated Juanita, 105-59. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Skinner-Gray

From left to right, Redmond High’s 200-yard medley relay team of freshman Michelle Chen (backstroke), sophomore Catherine Yu (breaststroke), sophomore Andrea Wu (butterfly) and senior captain Jamesyn Gray (freestyle) splashed into their first meet of the season on Sept. 19 with a state-qualifying time of 1:52.52 (the WIAA automatic state-qualifying time is 1:53.50). Yu also qualified for state in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:11.68. Redmond defeated Juanita, 105-59. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Skinner-Gray

Redmond swimmers notch state-qualifying times

‘It’s like pure instinct.’

Redmond High sophomore Catherine Yu said that when she dives into the pool, her body takes care of everything.

“It’s like pure instinct. You swim how you swim, and whatever the outcome is, you have to accept it,” she added prior to practice on Monday afternoon at Strattonwood Pool in Redmond.

So far, the results have been stellar for Yu, including 4A state-qualifying times in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:05.58), 200-yard individual medley (2:11.68) and as part of the 200-yard medley relay (1:52.52) with senior captain Jamesyn Gray, sophomore Andrea Wu and freshman Michelle Chen, who has also notched a state time of 1:00.09 in the 100-yard backstroke.

In the relays, the girls are a well-prepared crew and know they’re ready to make an impact, Yu said.

“I think it’s just the relays are a lot of fun. We’re just hyping each other up and we’re just getting really excited and just trying to get out there and race other people,” she said.

Gray anchored the relay with her freestyle, and followed Wu’s butterfly, Yu’s breaststroke and Chen’s backstroke.

“I was focused on a good send-off, so making sure I left as soon as Andrea touched the wall. My biggest thing when I’m swimming freestyle is to focus on not breathing because it’s a sprint. It’s a 50 down and back, so I don’t really need to breathe,” she said.

The relay hit its state time to kick off the Mustangs’ first meet of the season on Sept. 19 against Juanita, which fell to Redmond, 105-59. Since Redmond doesn’t have any divers on its squad, Gray said the Mustangs start their meets down by 13 points.

In preparation for meet one, Gray said the girls benefited from an extra week of practices at Strattonwood, which is their outdoor training facility while Hartman Pool is undergoing renovations. The Mustangs’ home base for meets is the Juanita Aquatics Center.

“I think we all kind of feel the pressure (that) we have to do well every single meet, we have to place well in order to make up those points. Getting the state cut was very exciting. None of us were planning for that. We were just like, ‘We just gotta win this,’ and getting that was an added bonus,” Gray said.

Chen is an experienced club swimmer and was excited to dip her toes into the high-school scene this fall. She enjoys the Mustangs’ team spirit and bonding with the girls.

Earning state times adds a nice touch to the scenario as well.

“It was pretty cool. I was really happy,” said Chen, noting that she would like to make a few more state cuts and drop some times as her inaugural prep season continues.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

Courtesy photo
Federal Way Mirror Female Athlete of the Week for May 20: Sophia McDonald

TJHS senior is ranked first in the league for the 100 meters.

tsr
Federal Way Mirror Male Athete of the Week for May 20: Kort Baker

TJHS freshman played key role in baseball team’s recent win over Auburn Mountainview.

Russell Wilson’s $28 million Lake Washington home (Screenshot from Redfin website)
Russell Wilson’s $28 million Lake Washington home hits the market in Bellevue

The listing of the property comes after the former Seahawks quarterback was traded to Denver.

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Richard Sherman takes plea deal on charges stemming from July 2021 incident

The former Seahawks player will not have to do any additional jail time.

Design rendering of future Sounders FC facility in Renton. (Courtesy of Seattle Sounders FC)
Seattle Sounders FC announce new HQ at Renton’s Longacres site

Facility is expected to open in 2024, before Seattle potentially hosts FIFA World Cup games in 2026.

T
RHS fastpitch program hosts electronic recycling drive

Donations benefit the fastpitch program.

tsr
WIAA launches bias reporting form in response to discriminatory incidents

Inappropriate behavior seen, heard or witnessed at any WIAA member school event can be reported.

file photo
Health department: COVID outbreaks linked to high school wrestling tournaments

At least 80 cases are tied to the events which included attendees from multiple counties and states.

Redmond High’s girls swim team took third place at the 4A state meet on Nov. 13 at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way. Photo courtesy of Adam Lu
Redmond swimmers shine at state meet

Redmond High’s girls swimmers notched five first-place titles and finished third in… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Panthers Youth Rugby
Panthers Youth Rugby rolls into action

Panthers Youth Rugby is encouraging boys and girls in middle school and… Continue reading

t
Redmond coach, grapplers join Ascend Wrestling Academy

Redmond High wrestling coach Lantz Schwabenbauer and several local grapplers are part… Continue reading

A Decatur High School student in Federal Way participates in a conditioning workout in Feb. 2021 as the state eased back in to in-person activities. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State announces mask requirements for student sports, performing arts

Athletes are not required to wear masks when participating in sports of any contact level while outside.